Jace Denmark pipped Pabst Racing team-mate Myles Rowe to pole in USF Pro 2000 qualifying at Sebring.
Rowe had started the day by edging Denmark to top spot in free practice by 0.011 seconds with a 1m58.609s lap, and Jay Howard Driver Development’s Reece Ushijima had been 0.269s back in third place.
TJ Speed’s Francesco Pizzi started qualifying as the fastest driver, with a gap of 0.134s to Rowe.
Denmark went fastest next time around, a 1m59.340s lap putting him 0.390s clear of Rowe and 0.592s ahead of Pizzi. Exclusive Autosport’s Salvador de Alba was running out of sync with most of the field and he then went second fastest with a 1m59.681s laptime.
The top two improved on their third efforts, with the gap shrinking to 0.121s between them, and Jordan Missig made it a Pabst 1-2-3 after lapping just 0.188s slower than Denmark.
They did not improve on their fourth laps, but Turn 3 Motorsport’s Michael d’Orlando and Pizzi did to go second and fourth.
There was further change to the order in the final eight minutes of the 25-minute session, as Rowe became the first driver to lap in the 1m58s and put himself on provisional pole while Denmark also improved but was now in second place.
He regained top spot with four-and-a-half minutes remaining on the clock, setting a 1m58.602s to better an improving Rowe by 0.016s. Over 0.6s slower but jumping back up to third was Missig, until he was shuffled down to fourth a minute later by Exclusive’s Joel Granfors.
He responded by topping the times with a 1m58.536s lap, but Denmark then set a 1m58.405s to reclaim provisional pole. Pizzi knocked Missig down to third with a 1m58.522s lap, while Rowe also went faster but stayed in fourth place.
Rowe improved again after the chequered flag, but it was not enough for pole as he was 0.072s slower than Denmark.
Just 0.05s covered Pizzi, Missig and d’Orland in third, fourth and fifth, with the next four cars all within two third of a second of pole.
Absent from proceedings was Christian Brooks, who won the opening race of the season in St. Petersburg for Turn 3 but was competing on a one-weekend deal.
|1||Jace Denmark||Pabst Racing||1m58.405s||9|
|2||Myles Rowe||Pabst Racing||1m58.477s||+0.072s||9|
|3||Francesco Pizzi||TJ Speed||1m58.522s||+0.117s||9|
|4||Jordan Missig||Pabst Racing||1m58.536s||+0.131s||9|
|5||Michael d’Orlando||Turn 3 Motorsport||1m58.572s||+0.167s||8|
|6||Joel Granfors||Exclusive Autosport||1m58.824s||+0.419s||8|
|7||Lirim Zendeli||TJ Speed||1m58.935s||+0.530s||8|
|9||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||1m59.025s||+0.620s||7|
|10||Salvador de Alba||Exclusive Autosport||1m59.523s||+1.118s||8|
|11||Jonathan Browne||Turn 3 Motorsport||1m59.536s||+1.130s||7|
|12||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Exclusive Autosport||1m59.762s||+1.357s||8|
|13||Bijoy Garg||DEForce Racing||1m59.803s||+1.398s||8|
|14||Christian Weir||TJ Speed||1m59.985s||+1.580s||8|
|16||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||2m00.045s||+1.640s||8|
|17||Jackson Lee||Turn 3 Motorsport||2m00.083s||+1.678s||8|
|18||Nicholas Monteiro||NeoTech Motorsport||2m00.684s||+2.279s||7|
|19||Lindsay Brewer||Exclusive Autosport||2m01.328s||+2.833s||7|